As a stepparent, you have an important role to play in your stepchild’s life. Often, when children have an absent biological parent, adoption becomes a serious topic.
According to Gladney Center for Adoption, stepchild adoption may be good for some families, but it depends on their circumstances.
Obtain permission for adoption
Before you can adopt your stepchild, you have to have permission from the legal parent. He or she has to sign a waiver that gives up his or her rights to the child. Once signed, the biological parent has no rights to the child going forward. Keep in mind that all legal relationship severs after the adoption. For example, if the biological parent paid child support, he or she no longer has to.
Discuss adoption with your stepchild
Do not leave your stepchild out of the conversation. Some stepparents want to surprise their children, but your child needs to be an active participant in the conversation. Children old enough to share opinions and to have a preference deserve to have input.
Adoption can provide stability to a child when his or her biological parent does not provide it. Discuss the different ramifications of adoption. Discuss the good things and bring up any negative aspects, such as severing ties with the biological parent. In some cases, this may be an easy discussion, but others may become more complex with the child’s emotions involved.
Before you adopt your stepchild, you need to be certain about your decision. Once you know with certainty you want to adopt, you can petition the court system.